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Locally Owned Online News: Why You Should Care and What You Can Do To Support

NEWPORT – Though our news continues to be free to read, we are asking you to purchase a membership at What’sUpNewp today and here’s why.

It’s no secret that the newspaper business is undergoing a huge transformation (if not dying), and the uncertainties are endless. But a few things are clear: newspapers aren’t providing the coverage they once did, things in our community are going uncovered or are not being reported on and national newspaper chains are growing larger in search of efficiency while gutting newsrooms in the process.

More often than ever, front covers of newspapers and stories from statewide are all coming from the same place and are written by someone who has spent very local time in your community (if any at all) – The Associated Press.

The changing ways of corporately owned media, decline of newspapers and lack of reporters asking the questions that the public needs to hear the answer to , ultimately leave a large gap in the communities that they serve. That’s where we come in.

Since the beginning of this Republic, the media has been the watchdog over much of our society, from government to community organizations. It was Thomas Jefferson who said if he had to choose between government without newspapers and newspapers without government, he would choose the latter. Of course, at that time newspapers were the only media.

Today, it is far more extensive, and sites like WhatsUpNewp have become the dominant source of news for the most significant portion of our population.

WhatsUpNewp is already reaching a very significant audience, stretching from New York City to Boston. Last year alone we experienced more than 1.3 million page hits from nearly a half million unique visitors.

As we look to the future, we see a need to expand our readership and coverage. We hope to be able to engage well-qualified journalists to help us cover the news, investigate questionable practices, and serve as your watchdog, while still providing the kind of lifestyle reporting you’ve come to expect from our website.

What can you do? It’s simple, support our locally-owned organizations by subscribing to a membership.

What’sUpNewp has launched a voluntary membership program and we hope you’ll join. We’ve developed a very affordable membership package that provides certain benefits at each level, with the greatest benefit shared along all platforms, supporting a quality news outlet.


The team at What’sUpNewp consistently serves a mix of fairly reported news that informs – but more importantly – nourishes the community it serves. Through this process, we’ve made an undeniable impact on the civic and cultural life of Newport and beyond.

  • We’ve produced over 10,000 articles – all of them local.
  • We publish 365 days a year, 24/7. We don’t take weekends off and don’t punch out at 5 pm.
  • We’ve helped name stores, announce business closings and openings and have been the first to break, report and share many news and lifestyle stories.
  • Thousands have relied on our coverage during hurricanes, snow storms, and other emergencies.
  • We’re out there in the public’s eye, we get out and support events, we sponsor events, we host events and we spend our money locally with the businesses and those that live here. There’s a face to our organization.
  • Thousands of people count on us to keep that informed through our daily newsletter (serving 12,000+), social media (serving 30,000+) and at our community events (more than 1,500 attended a What’sUpNewp event in 2016).
  • The only Rhode Island member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, a nonprofit educational group focused on local independent online news publishers, their editors, reporters, and staffers. 


If you agree that locally owned, independent news organizations are vital to a community, then please purchase a membership and support our work.

Beyond free access to news articles that everyone gets, there are numerous reasons to join. Monthly member gatherings and receptions build community and civic life. Exclusive op-eds give members a chance to weigh in on local topics, and other cool stuff.

Thank you for being the best group of readers in the country. We’re excited to have you as a member of the team.

Just want to make a one-time donation (in any amount) to What’sUpNewp? You can do that HERE.

Want to support us by check instead of a credit card?  You can make checks out to “What’sUpNewp, LLC” and mail it to; What’sUpNewp 416 Spring Street Newport, RI 02840.

Thank you for helping us grow so rapidly and for establishing What’sUpNewp as the go-to source for fresh, trusted local news.

Note: Contributions to What’sUpNewp are not deductible as charitable donations

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